Leadership and a Culture Of Service
Hey there and welcome back to a long overdue blog post on the topic of leadership! I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are getting in to the Christmas spirit. I know for me and my family it is a mad dash through the holiday season and right in to the New Year. So let me get down to business.
How To Sow The Seeds Of A Culture Of Service
I mentioned in the last post that I would be discussing more about removing obstacles. I will get back to that topic. For today, I want to discuss organizations having a culture of service. I believe this is a vital topic no matter the type of organization – from Fortune 500 multinational to local mom and pop to non-profits. Service is king. Service sets companies or organizations apart from the peers and competitors. So how does the leader sow the seeds of a culture of service?
Realize A Culture Of Service Begins At The Top
An atmosphere of serving begins at the top. The leader of an organization must first realize that his position exists to serve others – clients/customers, subordinates, church members, etc. –not just himself or herself. One of the best ways to do this is to take on an attitude where no task is too small and no task is beneath the position. Getting down in the trenches with subordinates is one method to inspire a greater level of that service mentality. Serving the needs of those that work closest with you (even if it is an uncomfortable emotional situation) will provide the template for teammates to serve the needs of others. Once the ball gets rolling a culture of service will filter down through the ranks. But it has to start at the top. A culture of service does not rise to the top in an organization – the inertia would be too great.
Going back to the small tasks for a moment, I truly believe that it takes a lot of character to serve in the small tasks. Those are the type of people I want on my team as I try to accomplish whatever mission lies before the team. It’s the service oriented individuals who realize that many small tasks put together equal great accomplishments.
Leading By Example To Cultivate A Culture Of Service
The leader has further responsibility to reinforce the desired culture of service besides leading by example. The leader needs to be constantly finding ways to thank his people for their service. If his or her people are out there selflessly serving without recognition, they will not continue to do so for long. They would seriously question the commitment of the leader to the overall mission and to the service culture. Don’t sow seeds of resentment, cynicism, and apathy. Remember to express gratitude for even the small tasks. A simple word of appreciation (sincerely said) can go a long way toward cultivating that culture of service.
Final Thoughts On A Culture Of Service
Well, there’s definitely more to be said about culture of service but I don’t want these posts going too long. Here a few of my parting thoughts on the subject:
- A culture of service can be equated with a culture of humility and a culture of love
- If I want to be a leader that inspires a service based culture, I have to be willing to embrace the fact that:
- My time is not my own
- Interruptions to serve others will be necessary
- There is always time for people
- A culture of service is people oriented and not just task oriented
As always, I appreciate the time you have taken to read this post. Let me know if there is a subject you would to like read more about or if you would like me to help your organization grow their leader and manager skills. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. As a preview of next time – The leader also bears the responsibility of connecting those small tasks to the bigger picture.